March 10, 2003
National Design and Engineering Show 2003: Highlights
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on MCADcafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
| by Amy Rowell - Contributing Editor
Each MCAD Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the MCAD industry, MCAD product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by MCADCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!
It's always a bit difficult after any conference to stop and look back and ask, "So what did I learn and what's worth passing along? Is there anything particularly new or innovative that shows promise, even if it isn't proven technology yet? Were there any particularly effective strategies or approaches presented that might pave the way for others looking to reduce costs or increase profitability? Any 'best practices' to be shared?"
Well, if you're hoping to read about the next 'big thing' -- whether that means the next Autodesk, the next PTC, or the next SolidWorks -- each of which, in effect, transformed the CAD industry through either technology leaps or value-based pricing--I wouldn't say that there were any definitive 'new industry leaders' unveiled at this year's National Design and Engineering Show (NDES) exhibit and conference, held in conjunction with National Manufacturing Week in Chicago during the week of March 3rd - 6th. The conference did, however, offer more than a few interesting tidbits -- some of which relate to product enhancements and new product introductions, and some of which simply fall
under that category -- 'wow, that's really clever. Is anyone else doing this?' Perhaps even more importantly, there seemed to be a sense of urgency regarding the need for innovation and productivity across the manufacturing enterprise to enable companies to compete more effectively in a global marketplace.
In terms of truly 'new' products, there was actually one very interesting CAD program that caught my eye. Iced*CAD, short for 'intelligently created engineering drawings from CAD', enables users to 'automatically' generate a drawing or assembly model directly from BOM data, working alongside all of the popular CAD programs such as Pro/Engineer, AutoCAD, Solidworks, CATIA, and Unigraphics. Developed by a company called QSSolutions, which has worked for several years on this concept, the secret behind Iced*CAD is the underlying layer of programming that makes this intelligent 'rule-based' system work. At this stage, Iced*CAD doesn't come cheap -- a custom system could cost
your company as much as $400,000 or more. But if the ability to generate assemblies on-the-fly from bill of materials information makes it faster and easier for your company to do business, and at the same time frees up your design engineers to focus on more valuable tasks. like new product development, it might be worth considering. QSSolutions just might be onto something big here. To learn more, see
In terms of 'new and improved' products, EDS PLM Solutions introduced SolidEdge v14 (
) with its advanced surfacing capabilities and systems libraries, and PTC was showing Pro/E Wildfire
), the 'new and improved' version of Pro/Engineer that features built-in Web connectivity and greater ease-of-use. Autodesk
) not only reiterated its commitment to desktop PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) with its 3D modeling Inventor 7.0
software and web-enabled PLM system, Streamline
but also announced the acquisition of the assets of three software companies -- trueEInnovations, Inc., VIA Development Corporation, and Linius Technologies, Inc. VX Corporation
) was also debuting its latest -- a new graphical CAM interface integrated directly into VX CAD/CAM to provide greater control over the manufacturing process and ImpactXoft
), which recently announced a strategic partnership with IBM/Dassault Systemes, was showing the latest enhancements to its IX SPeeD software for simultaneous product development. Building on the success of the retraining program that it launched last year, SolidWorks
) announced an innovative new 3D training program, called the SolidWorks® 3D Skills program
, which includes free SolidWorks software, plus introductory training and support. And Elysium
) a leading provider of digital design data exchange software, announced the CADpdm synchronization tool, for correlating all the product structure information that must be 'synchronized' when different PDM systems must 'talk' to one another.
Beyond the latest developments in CAD modeling and related product data management software and services, it was also interesting to see the progress being made in the area of connecting buyers to suppliers, particularly with respect to streamlining what can often be a very time-consuming task, the quoting process. Here, rapid prototyping specialist, Xpress3D (
) has come up with a fast, simple, and secure means of quoting rapid prototyping services without leaving the CAD environment; MfgQuote.com
) has made some inroads with both buyers and suppliers in the manufacturing marketplace and is hoping to further extend this with its new 'supplier discovery' capability; and Resinate
), makers of Resinate Material Advisor (RMA) for rapid selection of plastic materials, is now planning to offer an ASP service, which will allow the user to access the material database over the Internet.
Also, on the other side of the aisle, at the National Enterprise IT show and conference, Microsoft was promoting its Industrial IT Alliance -- a manufacturing IT solution that extends from the 'shop floor to the top floor' through partnerships with such companies as EDS-PLM Solutions, ABB, Intel, Accenture, and SAP.
Interestingly, in spite of the flagging economy (or perhaps because of it), attendees at this year's NDES conference and exhibit seemed to be more engaged than ever, and more informed as well. Translation? This year, it seemed, attendees came to NDES to get the answer to one basic underlying question -- how can our organization be more competitive? Are there any new tools or technologies that we need to know about? Are there any strategies that others have used in our industry that our company should consider using? Is there some magic way to reduce our design and manufacturing costs?
In upcoming issues of MCAD Weekly Review and as part of our ongoing efforts to continually add to our resources on MCADCafe, we will attempt to address these and other questions related to the challenges facing mechanical engineers involved in product design and development today. So, stay tuned. And please let us know how we can best serve your needs, as we continue to expand our coverage of the latest MCAD tools, technologies and 'best practices' across the industry.
to tell us what you think about this topic or if you have additional information you'd like to share on this subject!
Amy Rowell is the managing editor of MCADCafe, and the editor of MCAD Weekly Review.
Product and Company News
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Six Sigma in the Design Process 10-13 March 2003
. This online course illustrates how to use Design for Six Sigma strategies, and how companies can enhance the performance and quality of their products. Offered in two online sessions. Attendees choose: Session 1 - March 10 or 11, Session 2 - March 12 or 13.
VirtualMCAD Conference and Exhibit 2003
, 14 - 16, October 2003
. Register Now! You won't want to miss out on this FREE online MCAD conference and tradeshow sponsored by MCADCafe!
, 24-27 March 2003
, Los Angeles, CA
COE Spring 2003 Conference & TechniFair
, 30 March - 2 April 2003
, New Orleans, LA
Fuel Cell Vehicles: The Road to Commercialization TOPTEC April 8-9, 2003
, Ritz Carlton, Dearborn, MI. This two-day TOPTEC will discuss the industry, government, and customer perspectives on the status and continuing R&D for the commercialization of fuel cell powered automobiles. (Note: TOPTECs are one- to three-day TOPical, TEChnical symposiums, workshops, or forums that focus on emerging technologies, new applications to emerging technologies, or other expanded technical subjects.)
2003 PLM Vendor Forum
-- 10 April 2003
, Detroit, MI. Sponsored by CIMdata, this forum is designed to provide critical market and business information to technology and service suppliers of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions.
"Inside Design Now" 22 April - 3 August 2003
, The Smithsonian Institution's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York City. This exhibit is a critical overview of leading developments in contemporary American architecture and design over the last three years. On view will be the works of 80 designers and firms with over 300 objects, models, photographs, films and renderings. For information call 212.849.8400 or visit
6th Annual Design & Business Conference "Success by Design 2003", 24 April 2003, The Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, RI. Sponsored in part by the Rhode Island School of Design. Speakers include Michael Graves, IDSA. For information call 401.454.6108 or e:
PLM World '03
, 28 April - 2 May
, Anaheim, CA. PLM World is an independent, non-profit organization for CAD/CAM, CAE PLM industry professionals who use EDS-PLM Solutions software. Its mission is to be the Voice of the User
in providing an open forum for the exchange of ideas within the EDS product environment. Citizenship is open to users of EDS Unigraphics, Metaphase, I-DEAS and iMAN software. Through networking, these users share best practices and technical techniques for implementing and using the software more effectively.
Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing: Advanced Product Development Solutions Conference and Exposition
, 12 - 15 May, 2003
, Hyatt Regency, Chicago. Sponsored by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. For more information: phone: 800.733.4763; website:
2003 PLM Vendor Forum
-- 21 May 2003
, Paris, France. Sponsored by CIMdata, this forum is designed to provide critical market and business information to technology and service suppliers of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions.
daratechiDPS2003-- Intelligent Digital Prototyping Strategies June 9 - 10, 2003
. Novi, Michigan. daratechiDPS2003 will update product development and engineering executives on the changing role of digital prototyping and simulation, explore how industry leaders are managing the tradeoffs between physical test and measurement and digital prototyping, and identify the business and technical case for investing in these technologies and processes.
2003 International Forum on DFMA June 17-18, 2003
. Newport, RI. Sponsored by Boothroyd Dewhurst, Inc. The International Forum on DFMA (Design for Manufacture and Assembly) is the foremost conference worldwide on early design analysis methodologies and implementation. Conference papers will discuss specific product development programs and examine cost reductions and efficiency gains at some of the world's leading manufacturing companies, such as Raytheon, Hewlett-Packard Company, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, and Visteon Corporation, among others.
CIMdata PLM Conference June 23-25, 2003
. Detroit, MI. "Unleashing the Value of Your Intellectual Assets." At PLMconference2003, attendees will be provided with a total view of the PLM picture including an industry vision, available opportunities, strategies for solution selection and implementation, roadmaps to move forward, pitfalls to avoid, and direction to help maximize the value and benefits of their investment.
Brand Identity & Package Design June 23-25, 2003
. Chicago, IL.
Global Design Trends June 26, 2003
. McCormick Place, Chicago. Anyone with an interest in industrial design will benefit from this valuable learning and networking opportunity, conveniently held during NPE 2003. Keynote speaker Mark Dziersk, FIDSA, Vice President of Design at Herbst, Lazar, Bell, will talk about the shifting and transforming role of the industrial designer in an evolving industry. A panel on global trends will provide insight into new trends shaping design in the international context. Keep your eye on
for more information or, contact:
SIGGRAPH2003 27 - 31, July 2003
. San Diego, CA. SIGGRAPH 2003, the 30th International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, will take place July 27 - 31, 2003 at the San Diego Convention Center.
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-- Amy Rowell, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.